The current trend in military / LEO sniper rifles involves designs that incorporate the following features:
- Modular multi-caliber platforms, typically supporting cartridges such as the .338 Lapua, the .300 Win Mag, and the .308 Win.;
- Interchangeable quick-change barrels;
- 1913 Rails surrounding the barrel for mounting night vision devices, etc.;
- Adjustable alloy folding stocks with rear monopods;
- Suppressor-capable muzzle-breaks.
The FN Ballista has all of these and more . . .
The receiver is designed with elastometric cushions which dampen vibrations from the aluminum and polymer stock. The headspace is preset within the barrel extension. The .300 Win Mag and .338 Lapua barrels feature polygonal rifling with progressive twist rates. The Ballista has a grip safety that’s similar in design to the type found on a M1911, except with a stiffer spring. Frankly, I was not so jazzed about that one, but I can see where it would have a role on a military rifle.
FN first introduced the Ballista in 2010 to the military and law enforcement market. And now they appear to be ready to release it to the civilian market. The Ballista is featured in FN’s 2012 commercial product catalogue and the reps seem to think that the Ballista would hit dealer shelves by the end of 2012.